Archive for May, 2008
So far, in this glitz and glamour tournament, 54 games have been played, two more to go and then the two semi-finals and, then the final. Who do you think will go to the finals? And the 1.2 million dollar question is, who will lift the IPL Cup?
Rajhastan Royals are everyone’s favourite but, favourites always disappoint in big games. The team that rose to the occasion today is, Chennai Super Kings they eliminated Mumbai Indians from the tournament after defeating the Deccan Chargers. They have a very good bowling attack comprising of Ntini, Gony, Morkel, Balaji and Muralitharan. Most people believe that a good bowling attack can restrict the opposition from posting a big total. Chennai’s batting line up is not that formidable, but when they click, they all chip in. In T20 format you don’t have to have world’s best bowlers or world’s biggest hitters. So far in the 54 games played in the IPL tournament has proved that big hitters like Symonds, Gilchrist, Gibbs, Afridi cannot win the matches. In fact Deccan Chargers have hit most sixes and most fours in this tournament than any team, yet they have remained at the bottom of the table. Like some of our bloggers rightly call them as “Dhukkans for the bottom.”
Its also been proved that neither the very cautious and traditional cricket players like, Dravid, Jaffar, Laxman, Tendulkar or, even the most promising T20 expert Misbah ul Haq had done anything significant in helping their teams win. Rajhastan with a sound leader, Shane Warne who turned out to be a great motivator changed a bunch of youngsters and won most matches to remain at the top of the table. If Rajhastan Royals wins the final, no one would be surprised. But, big games are different from the round matches, so you never know. Similarly big names in the bowling department like, Shoaib Akhtar, McGrath, Asif, Umar Gul, Shaun Pollock, Dale Styen, Murali couldn’t win matches for their teams on a consistent basis. Sohail Tanvir not so famous like others made a lasting impression with excellent figures and he is the leading wicket taker in fewer games than others.
The opening partnerships are also very crucial in posting a big total, but that is also not a guarantee to win the match, Gambhir and Sehwag have been pretty consistent but they have not been able to win most matches like Rajhastan Royals. Tendulkar joined the band wagon very late, him and Jayasuriya started off well, but they have not won all the time. If one remembers the T20 WC in SA when Chris Gayle hammered a century and the opening pair added a huge total, but then the whole team collapsed, although WI scored more than 200 runs, but lost the match to SA. So, there is no guarantee that the momentum will continue after a big partnership by the opening players..
In case of Punjab XI they have a very balanced side and their openers and their top and middle order are more consistent than others. With all the probabilities and possibilities, with all the combinations, calculations and permutations, a team with sound players, not necessarily big names can win a big game. I would predict a final between Punjab Kings XI and Chennai Kings XI. And, my two cents are on Punjab XI because of Shaun Marsh, Luke Pomersbatch, Sangakara and Jayawardene and hopefully Yuvraj will rise to the big occasion to add a feather of arrogance in his cap, with Sreesanth and Irfan’s accurate bowling, will Punjab XI emerge as winners? Or, Dhoni’s men will defy them with their bowling attack and Dhoni himself will play a big innings. This is a question that will be answered on June 1st or may be earlier than that. What is your prediction? Who is your favourite team? And why do you rate them above others? Lets start the deliberations and continue it till Sunday.
If Punjab XI and Chennai Super Kings play the final, there will be one commonality between the two captains, they both would be after the cup, like they both were after the “Red Cherry” called Dipika Padukone. No one knows who won that race, but once they are pitched against each other in the cricket arena, the result would be known to the public.
We have frequently discussed the poor performances of Pakistanis in the IPL on this site. However, there needs to be a thread totally dedicated to just why Pakistanis, generally considered as good Twenty20 players, cannot outshine their Indian, Australian, South African and Sri Lankan counterparts?
Let’s examine the statistics of Pakistani players. The much hyped Twenty20 specialist Misbah ul Haq has only managed 32 runs in 4 matches. Shahid Afridi has made 80 runs in 8 matches and has taken 7 wickets at an average of 26 and economy of 8. The Sialkot golden boy Shoaib Malik has scored 52 runs in 7 matches and has taken only 2 wickets at an average of 43 and economy of 10. Mohammad Asif has also been disappointing with 7 wickets at an average of 38 and economy of 9. Salman Butt has made 72 runs in 5 matches whereas Hafeez has only managed 54 runs in 7 matches and 2 wickets with an economy of 7 and average of 34. Only Sohail Tanvir has shone in this format so far, with 11 wickets at an average of 12, economy of 6 and strike rate of 13. Shahid Afridi’s bowling has also been decent with 7 wickets and a good economy rate of 8. Shoaib Akhtar cannot be discussed in the same vein as the rest as he has only played two matches although the initial signs have been encouraging.
Many people are blaming the captains of the respective teams for not giving Pakistani players enough chances. However this is loose talk as in Twenty20 you have to take chances right from the word go and as we all know fortune favours the brave. Yes luck has a lot to do with it and that is acceptable. We can say that Pakistani players may have been unlucky but sometimes you have to make your own luck and apply yourself. In terms of chances Salman Butt has opened in most of Kolkata’s matches so we can’t say he is coming lower down the order and has no chance of getting comfortable at the crease. The same argument applies to Hafeez who has also batted in the top order mostly. If anyone has been unlucky it is Shahid Afridi who needs to bat higher up as he is not clicking in the middle or lower order. Asif also has been given plenty of chances with the new ball so his fans can’t say Sehwag has been unfair to him. And our beloved captain Malik has come in those situations plenty of times where there are many balls left for him to build his score and play a good knock but he has not capitalised on those occasions and only has himself to blame.
Is this an indication of lack of quality? Most of these players featured in last year’s Twenty20 Cup where Pakistan reached the final and looked like a formidable unit. So that reason can be immediately discounted. Is it the hype and extravaganza of IPL? It could be, but all the players would be facing this hype and razzmatazz and we cannot limit this factor just to Pakistanis. It is the fit and seductive cheerleaders? No it cannot be even though Afridi thinks it might. You also have such liberally dressed spectators in Western countries where these players frequently tour. Is it the pressure of performing in front of Indian crowds? No it cannot be that either, as Pakistanis have performed admirably in India in the past, although much less so in the more recent past. Or is the fact that playing for a different team other than the team of your own country means lack of commitment or motivation? We have discussed this as a possible reason as well, but it would not justify why players like Warne, Watson, McGrath, McCullum or Jayasuria have fired in this League.
Regrettably it all boils down to lack of overall application and commitment. This poor show in IPL epitomises the problems currently being faced by the PCB and the Pakistani team. It seems as long as the players are getting the remuneration for playing, nothing else matters and no problems or criticisms can be worked upon. It seems that now for these Pakistani players, winning is not really the top priority and there seems to be an absence of having the determination and fire within yourself to go the extra mile and seek new heights for yourself and your country, a feeling that was a major cause for the greatness of Pakistani legends like Wasim, Waqar, Imran Khan and Miandad.
So it’s now up to you, the visitors of Legslip, to discuss why the Pakistani players can’t perform. If you agree with this thread, do say “I am agree”, and if you don’t agree then feel free to say “I am agree naat”.
The talk about IPL as the BIGGEST cricket event is like, “the talk of the town.” But, the question is, which town? And how long this so-called “momentum” will continue? And how long will it keep the spectators and viewers interest alive? Especially when you see the same team playing again and again and that too, with so many new names and new faces you hardly know and you will hardly remember them after the tournament. Generally people believe that BIG is best. But that is only a misnomer, as the expression goes, “the bigger they are, the harder they fall.” So with all the cricket players and bollywood actresses in it, its like: Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water – Jack fell down and broke his crown – And Jill came tumbling after. Lets see whether Jack Ambani falls first or, Preity Jill comes tumbling after?
The Big (Bang) Theory is not just restricted to business only, even in cricket a big country like India wanted to Get Big Fast believing that it is the one and only motto for startups. Because big companies can go public and get more access to capital and use that capital to get even bigger. IPL has Bollywood millionaires and billionaire Industrialists who are financing them. Just like Big accounting firms were the place to go to get audited if you were a big company, because a big accounting firm could be trusted. Big law firms were the place to find the right lawyer, because big law firms were a one-stop shop. Similarly big show-biz attracts big media companies, big media companies means big news and TV coverage.
Of course, it’s not just big organizations that added value to business, they made us believe that Big planes were better than small ones, because they were faster and more efficient. Big buildings were better than small ones because they facilitated communications and used downtown land quite efficiently. Bigger computers and bigger networks could handle more simultaneous users, as well. After all that BIG, Big and big, small happened. Now small is the new big.
Enron – BIG got audited by Andersen BIG and failed BIG. The big World Trade Center was a target. TV advertising is collapsing so fast you can hear it. American Airlines BIG is getting creamed by Jet Blue “think small”. Main frames are already extinct like dinosaur. Big computers are silly, they use lots of power and are not nearly as efficient as properly networked like Dell boxes – at least that’s the way it works at Yahoo and Google. Big boom boxes are replaced by tiny ipod shuffles. (Yeah, I know big-screen TVs are the big thing. Can’t be right all the time). But smaller cell phones are the in thing, rather it is the only thing when men take pride in showing-off by saying: “Mine is smaller than yours.”
Today, little companies often make more money than big companies. Little jets are way faster – door to door and small hauls – than big ones. Today, craigslist has only 18 employees and it is the fourth most visited website according to some measures. They are partly owned by e-Bay which has more than 4,000 employees, which hopes to stay in the same league, traffic-wise. So, is it better to be the head of craigslist or the head of UPS?
We all know the Caribbean WC was a big failure, financially and otherwise and they also complained it as a very long and boring event. Why IPL is still catching the so-called “momentum”? There are a few reasons, the population; a majority of whom have no entertainment source other than Cinema, TV and cricket and evening outings is sheer entertainment for them. But, it cannot continue that long. Mind you this is just the first IPL tournament and that too halfway through and some people even in India don’t watch all the matches. Most people I know in this part of the world say, its hard to spare time from work and when you don’t follow there is no interest even on week-end you have time to do groceries and shopping besides we don’t know the players, so I guess we don’t miss much. Besides, this tournament is too big and too long, its going on and on. Therefore, one needs to think about the bigger picture rather than the one you see and hear in the “town.”
To conclude this thread based on the facts mentioned above, small is the new big. Because, small gives you the flexibility to change the business model when your competition changes theirs. Small means you can tell the truth on your blog. Small means that you can answer email from your customers. A small law firm or accounting firm or ad agency is succeeding because they’re good, not because they’re big. So smart small companies are happy to hire them. A small restaurant has an owner who greets you by your name. Don’t wait. Get small. Think big.
If you as a blogger don’t agree with this thread, shout BIG and say, “I am agree” NOT.